Visiting Morocco has always been a recurring item in a lot of bucket lists. Compared to other Arab or Islamic nations, the country’s uniqueness makes a trip to Morocco an exciting experience. From International Tangier to Blue Chefchaouen to Imperial Fez and Meknes, passing through Marrakech, Essaouira and ending up in the Sahara desert. Morocco truly has it all and can suit anyone’s interests. In Morocco, there are always the essentials that almost everyone knows, experiences or dreams about. But how about the things that practically no one expects to encounter. If you’re looking to do something different while in the country, this is for you. Here are some uncommon things to do in Morocco.
#1: Rock Climbing
Morocco has a very diverse nature, ranging from beautiful beaches, great lakes, vast National Parks and, of course, mighty mountains and some awe-inspiring canyons. Rock climbing is gaining ground as an exciting and unusual activity. More and more people do it, and more clubs and agencies specialise in this extreme sport in Morocco.
Some of the best locations to practice Rock Climbing are the very deep Todgha gorges and the scenic Taghia gorges in the heart of the Atlas Mountains. However, many other less-known sites are spread around in the middle and north of the country in areas known for their rugged terrains.
#2: Cooking Class
The gastronomic richness of Morocco has been a real drawing factor for visitors, especially foodies from all over the globe. The endless choices of ingredients, styles, and recipes will undoubtedly be a significant highlight in every trip to the country.
Make your way through Morocco, eating finely made recipes. Thus eliminating your hunger for both food and cultural immersion. Moroccan cuisine is a mix of Berber, European, Arab and Andalusian traditions in making mouthwatering specialties. And what’s better than to learn how to make world-famous Moroccan dishes and add to the overall experience, leaving with an everlasting memory that you can relive by simply preparing delicious Moroccan dishes.
Many places offer to teach the principles and basics of Moroccan cuisine. Of course, Marrakesh is a major city for this unique experience. Still, all over the country, there are indeed options for taking cooking classes and learning more about National and regional dishes that won’t fail to marvel.
Surfing is a favourite activity always related to places like Hawaii, Bali or Australia. But Morocco has some great surf spots as well. Whether it is simple surfing, Kite, or Wind Surfing, there is always a nice spot to catch some waves.
The long Atlantic coast of the country is a perfect place for surf lovers. Towns like Assilah, Rabat, Essaouira, Sidi Kaouki, Taghazout, Mirleft and Dakhla are well-known wave catchers. Dakhla is even competing with Tarifa to be a Mecca for Windsurfers. The best time to surf is in late autumn and stretches from September until March.
#4: Sky Diving
Here you are in the middle of your vacation in Morocco, immersed in the culture and amazed with the food and the never-ending wonders that you discover each day. But you are keen and looking for some significant adrenaline rush; if you ask around, most people will probably tell you that you came to the wrong place for adrenaline-inducing Activities and will probably ask you to go to Spain or something. But what many people don’t realise is that you can go to cities you never even heard of and fulfil your hunger for adventure. And what’s better than jumping from a plane to do just that.
In the middle of the Atlas mountains, there are two places where many clubs are based, and they offer activities, including Tandem Sky Diving. Beni Mellal is one of them, located 220km southeast of Casablanca. A trip there is worth it because you can also take trips from Beni Mellal to the impressive Ozoud waterfalls and the beautiful Bin El Ouidane lake. A great escape for adventure and nature lovers. The other town is Taroudant, located 80 km from Agadir. This area is close to some incredible landscapes, including the gorges mentioned above, perfect for some Rock Climbing.
#5: Zip Lining
Another option for Adrenaline lovers is to head to Terre d’Amanar, a really cool estate in the hills surrounding the town of Tahanaout, 30 minutes from Marrakech. The estate promotes eco-tourism and offers many fun activities, including Zip Lines and tricky suspended bridges crossings. I had the chance to try them on a recent trip to Marrakech. It was a great and unique experience concerning security measures to ensure total safety.
The estate offers many other activities like team building, Trekking, Climbing, Archery, Horse riding, and many more to keep you busy for a day escaping Marrakesh’s hustle and bustle and enjoying the incredible, incredible surrounding scenery of the Atlas Mountains.
#6: Moroccan Hollywood
Morocco is a great destination that many filmmakers chose as a filming location. So it is no wonder that some big productions were actually shot in Morocco. For example, in Inception, scenes from the continent of Essos in Game of Thrones and Gladiator were all filmed in Morocco. Not to mention hundreds of other movies, like Black Hawk Dawn and The Green Zone, to name a few.
The interest of Hollywood filmmakers in Morocco made the film industry flourish in the country. Therefore, Moroccan Hollywood has emerged. Besides being a great tourist destination, the city of Ouarzazate is also the home of the International Film industry, as many films take place in its studios that are world-famous and they really do worth visiting.
#7: Sand Bath Therapy
Not very far from Ouarzazate and in the real heart of the Moroccan desert, a small town is really becoming a point of interest for both local and foreign tourists. The city of Merzouga is an emerging destination among travellers, Moroccan or foreigners alike. It is known as the place for an authentic desert experience.
In Merzouga, you can spend the night dancing to desert tunes and gazing at the most beautiful stars while waiting for some great meals to be served, accompanied with the most incredible tea you’ll ever taste in the country. But a real specialty of Merzouga is being buried in its sand that can reach really high temperatures. This is because so many tourists flock to the city during Spring and Summer months to enjoy renowned sand baths for their therapeutic benefits.
#8: Mountain Trekking
The diversity of Morocco makes it a destination that suits every kind of traveller. Foodies will enjoy devouring delicious goodies. Beach lovers will find pristine and gorgeous beaches, especially in the north. And adventure seekers are indeed in for a treat with a mix of rough terrain, remote landscapes and dramatic scenery. The country has a lot of rugged terrain for travellers fond of the outdoors, especially mountain trekking.
Morocco has three chains of Mountains named The Atlas. Among which there is the highest peak in North Africa. Mount Toubkal stands at 4165 m, and climbing it can be a great experience. Other peaks worth a visit are Mount Mgoun and the Ait Bouguemez Valey, Jebel Siroua and Jebel Sargho.
I’ve seen many agencies (especially those based abroad) promote their tour packages for Morocco, with images of Camels, People living in tents and just a sea of sand dunes stretching to the horizon. A pretty picture, one might say, but it is very far from the truth. At least not all of the country is a desert, just a tiny part of it. So how about replacing those dunes with breathtaking mountains and a whole lot of snow. Yes, you heard me right !! It SNOWS in Morocco and a lot in some high altitude areas.
The blizzard cuts down roads sometimes. And when you say snow, you also say some fun skiing. The famous ski towns are Michlifen near Ifrane (dubbed Moroccan Switzerland) and Oukaimden near Marrakech in Toubkal National Park. In Winter, Moroccans flock to these snow decorated lands and enjoy themselves. Hell, you can even enjoy the snow and snow-related sports on a sunny day. As it is known, Morocco enjoys 300 days of sunlight annually. So who said you can’t enjoy Morocco in Winter ?!!
#10: Crocodile Park
In the crossroads of continents, the geographic situation of Morocco made it quite rich in many aspects. The culture is influenced by Arab, European, Muslim and Berber traditions. The Population is mixed, and also the fauna and flora are very diverse.
A great example is exhibited with good detail in the Crocodile Park of Agadir, in the Southwest of Morocco. Many crocodiles lived in that region freely in the wild until the start of the 20th century. This is quite striking, and I only learned that while visiting this large facility.
The Park was a real highlight during my trip to Agadir; it is home to more than 300 crocodiles and has celebrated recently newly hatched baby crocodiles for the first time. The Park also has a Botanical garden containing plants and flora from all over the world. CrocoPark is a perfect way to spend half a day filled with exploration and learning about one of the endangered species of the African continent.